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HISTORIC TRAINS OF THE OLD WEST WITH ALBUQUERQUE BALLOON FIESTA - 2017

Tour Code - NCS 11 days - DENVER to DENVER $3899 AUD
Discover the spirit of the Old West and its historic trains on this incredible vacation. Starting in Denver, Colorado, see spectacular scenery as you travel to Glenwood Springs and then down to Ouray, Silverton, and Durango. Hop on board the Georgetown Loop Railroad offering beautiful scenery of the rugged Rocky Mountains. Take a scenic ride through the San Juan National Forest on the Durango-Silverton train, a legendary steam train that hugs deep canyon walls and offers breathtaking beauty. Admire the cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde National Park and see how the ancestral Puebloans lived for over 700 years. Venture to New Mexico and learn about the history of 1,100-year-old Taos, visit Santuario de Chimayo, and spend time in charming Santa Fe.

On selected departures (Sep. 30 and Oct. 7) you will also attend the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, the largest ballooning event in the world and one of New Mexico’s most dazzling spectacles. Witness the amazing mass ascension and the balloon glow and after-flow fireworks show. Head back north for one of the highlights of this vacation—the Royal Gorge. Walk along the Royal Gorge Bridge, the highest suspension bridge in the world, and marvel at the rugged rock walls that plunge more than 1,000 feet down to the Arkansas River. In Colorado Springs, enjoy one last train journey as you take the cog railway up to the summit of 14,110-foot Pikes Peak for amazing views, before returning to the Mile High city of Denver for one last night. As you travel to each destination, you’ll witness beautiful landscapes along the way. A remarkable vacation, indeed!

LOCAL FAVOURITES

Overnight at Hotel Colorado, known as the “Grande Dame”
Visit to Taos Pueblo
Visit Santuario de Chimayo; enjoy lunch at historic Rancho de Chimayo

Standard Features

Destinations

  • DENVER
    Sightseeing tour; farewell dinner.
  • GEORGETOWN
    Excursion on the Georgetown Loop Railroad.
  • SILVERTON
    Ride the narrow-gauge railroad to Durango.
  • MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK
    Visit cliff dwellings and museum.
  • TAOS
    Visit to Taos Pueblo.
  • SANTA FE
    Guided trolley tour; visit Loretto Chapel.
  • CHIMAYO
    Visit Santuario de Chimayo; enjoy lunch at historic Rancho de Chimayo.
  • ROYAL GORGE BRIDGE
    Walk across the span.
  • COLORADO SPRINGS
    Ride the cog railroad up Pikes Peak; Garden of the Gods, enjoy a presentation by a cowboy storyteller.
  • ALBUQUERQUE BALLOON FIESTA.
  • FREE WI-FI
    Available on your motorcoach and in most hotels.
  • INSIDE VISITS and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.
  • MYACCOUNT
    Personalise your tour ahead of time with additional excursions. Visit our website for details and conditions.

Meals

Breakfast Lunch Dinner
10
1
3

Breakfast (B) daily, 1 lunch (L), 3 three-course dinners (D) including a farewell dinner in Denver.

Day by Day

  1. ARRIVE IN DENVER.
    Welcome to colourful Colorado! At 6 pm, meet your travelling companions for a welcome drink. Your Tour Director will prepare you for your upcoming adventure.

  2. DENVER-GEORGETOWN LOOP RAILROAD-BRECKENRIDGE- GLENWOOD SPRINGS.
    Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Denver this morning, then it's on to the beautiful Colorado mountains. Board the historic GEORGETOWN LOOP RAILROAD. Sit back and relax as you enjoy the beauty of the rugged Rocky Mountains and views of Clear Creek Canyon. There's time this afternoon to explore the resort town of Breckenridge before arriving in Glenwood Springs for the evening. Why not unpack your swimsuit and head down to the hot springs? These are the world's largest and have been welcoming visitors for over 125 years. (B) SPECIAL FEATURE: Overnight at the historic Hotel Colorado. Opened in 1893, the hotel was known as the 'Grande Dame' and through the years hosted many celebrities such as Doc Holliday and Molly Brown as well as dignitaries including President Theodore Roosevelt. Legend has it, the world's most irresistible toy, the teddy bear, received its birth at the Hotel Colorado.

  3. GLENWOOD SPRINGS-OURAY-SILVERTON-RAIL JOURNEY TO DURANGO.
    Head south today through some of Colorado's most spectacular scenery. See quaint Ouray, known as the "Switzerland of America," before continuing on to Silverton, once a major mining town that owes its name to the bragging statement by an early miner: "We have no gold, but silver by the ton!" Board the narrow-gauge DURANGO & SILVERTON RAILROAD for a scenic ride through San Juan National Forest. The legendary steam train hugs steep canyon walls as it winds its way through Rio de las Animas Canyon with vistas of snowcapped peaks. Arrive in Durango, a town born in the Gold Rush and silver-mining era. (B,D)

  4. DURANGO. EXCURSION TO MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK.
    This morning, visit MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. See Spruce Tree House, one of the best-preserved cliff dwellings. Also visit the museum that depicts the story of the people who once thrived on this 2,438-metre (8,000-foot) plateau, and stop at a great vantage point for pictures of Cliff Palace (one of the largest of the 700-year-old Anasazi dwellings). Return to Durango, where the remainder of the day is yours to explore. You may wish to browse the many shops on Main Street, join in an optional chuckwagon supper (seasonal), or perhaps enjoy a cold pint at one of the city's brew pubs. (B)

  5. DURANGO-TAOS-TAOS PUEBLO-SANTA FE.
    Head to New Mexico, stopping at the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, one of the highest in the U.S., before arriving in the adobe town of Taos on the high-desert mesa at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Visit TAOS PUEBLO, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where a tour will give you insight into the history, traditions, and daily life of these native people. Continue to the charming city of Santa Fe, the oldest seat of government in the United States. (B,D)

  6. SANTA FE-EXCURSION TO CHIMAYO.
    Experience Santa Fe up close as you embark on a guided TROLLEY TOUR of the many historic buildings, revealing the town's Spanish, Indian, and American heritage. Main sights include the San Miguel Mission, Palace of the Governors, Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi, and Loretto Chapel's 'Miracle Stairway.' We then visit nearby Chimayo, which was founded in the 17th century by Spanish settlers. Enjoy lunch at the Rancho de Chimayo, located in a century-old adobe home, serving some of the best New Mexican cuisine. Visit the SANTUARIO DE CHIMAYO and learn about the miraculous healing powers that still attract thousands of pilgrims each year. Return to Santa Fe, where the remainder of your day is at leisure. (B,L)

  7. SANTA FE-ALBUQUERQUE.
    Depart Santa Fe and head to Albuquerque, arriving in time for lunch and to explore the city on your own. (B)

  8. ALBUQUERQUE.
    This morning, experience the unforgettable MASS ASCENSION - where hundreds of hot air balloons take off and turn the sky into a virtual rainbow of colours, all of which are led by a balloon flying the American flag to the music of The Star Spangled Banner. What began as a gathering of 13 balloons 38 years ago has since turned into the largest ballooning event in the world, drawing entries from more than 28 different countries. This evening, catch the popular BALLOON GLOW, where all balloons fire up their burners and light up at the same time, and the AFTER-GLOW FIREWORKS SHOW. (B)

  9. ALBUQUERQUE-ROYAL GORGE-COLORADO SPRINGS.
    Leave Albuquerque and drive north to Colorado Springs, Colorado, stopping at the ROYAL GORGE BRIDGE en route. Walk across the world's highest suspension bridge and marvel at the rugged rock walls that plunge more than 305 metres (1,000 feet) down to the Arkansas River. Continue to Colorado Springs, home to the U.S. Olympic Training Center. (B)

  10. COLORADO SPRINGS-DENVER.
    Take the PIKES PEAK COG RAILWAY up to the summit of 4,300-metre (14,110-foot) Pikes Peak, the place that inspired Katharine Lee Bates to write America the Beautiful. We then explore GARDEN OF THE GODS, featuring 91-metre (300-foot) towering sandstone rock formations against a backdrop of snowcapped Pikes Peak and brilliant blue skies. This afternoon, head north to Denver, where your Tour Director hosts a special farewell dinner. Wonderful conversation and cuisine make the perfect finale for your holiday. (B,D)

  11. DENVER.
    Bid farewell to your new friends as you transfer to Denver International Airport for your flight home. (B)

Prev Year Available 2017 Tours Next Year
Start Date End Date Twin Share Single Hotels Excursions Availability
07 Oct 2017 17 Oct 2017 $3899 AUD $5245 AUD View Hotels View Excursions Please Call Tour departure is guaranteed to operate
07 Oct 2017 17 Oct 2017 $3899 AUD $5245 AUD View Hotels View Excursions Please Call Tour departure is guaranteed to operate
Pre/Post City Start Date End Date Single Price
(from)
Twin Price
(from)
Triple Price
(from)
PRE DENVER 01 Sep 2017 31 Oct 2017 $233 AUD $140 AUD $111 AUD
PRE DENVER 01 May 2017 31 Aug 2017 $216 AUD $131 AUD $111 AUD
POST DENVER 01 Sep 2017 31 Oct 2017 $233 AUD $140 AUD $111 AUD
POST DENVER 01 May 2017 31 Aug 2017 $216 AUD $131 AUD $111 AUD

Departures marked are guaranteed to operate.

Where "GD" appears next to a departure, the itinerary is a “Guaranteed Departure” and therefore guaranteed to operate. Tours without the “GD” indicator are still planned to operate, however may be subject to rescheduling. Many factors determine whether a departure becomes guaranteed. Ask your travel agent for advice on the best option for you.

PLEASE NOTE: This guarantee does not apply in any situation where the safety of clients is at potential risk or in the case of global health warnings; or when the operation of a tour is not possible for reasons beyond our control (such as industrial action/strikes and operational restrictions); or a Force Majeure event.

A Force Majeure event is an inevitable or unpredictable event including fire, flood, earthquake, storm, hurricane (or other natural disaster), act of war, invasion, act of foreign enemies, hostilities (regardless of whether war is declared), civil war, rebellion, revolution, insurrection, military or usurped power or confiscation, terrorist activities, nationalisation, government sanction, political unrest, blockage, embargo, labour dispute or strike.

 

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